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Kashmir college’s dress code diktat draws flak

The Kashmir college has directed the students — both boys and girls — to “necessarily wear” the prescribed uniform, urging girls to wear white colour “full sleeves below knee” length kameez (top)

india Updated: Aug 03, 2018 00:40 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmir,Jammu and Kashmir,Kashmir college’s dress code
Kashmir University students make artwork during a protest.(HT File Photo)

A college in Kashmir has drawn flak over a list of do’s and don’ts for students, especially girls, on what they should wear, what their bags should contain and where they should sit in the campus.

The diktat and the subsequent frisking of students’ bags by the administration of Government Degree College, Baramulla, have triggered strong criticism by girl students on Thursday.

While Principal Fazal Rahim Beig refuted allegations and said they were just reminding the students about the code and uniform they were expected to follow, a teacher on condition of anonymity said the problem lay with the discipline committee which found objections to girls and boys mingling on the campus.

The college has directed the students — both boys and girls — to “necessarily wear” the prescribed uniform, urging girls to wear white colour “full sleeves below knee” length kameez (top).

“The boys are directed to have a formal hairstyle and in-genuine use of caps, chappals etc is strictly prohibited,” the directive, pinned on the college notice board, states.

The college has formed a discipline committee and has started frisking the bags of the students.

“Girl students are directed not to carry any irrelevant stuff in their bags, otherwise the objectionable stuff shall be seized by the female disciplinary squad after proper frisking of their bags,” it states.

The students cannot sit wherever they like inside the campus. “Unnecessary roaming /gathering, sitting on parapets in the corridors of the college buildings is strictly prohibited,” it states, adding: “The designated and specific place where girl students can take rest is Botanical garden/Girls’ garden and for the boys it is front lawn/canteen lawn.”

The directive has also delved into how boys and girls should sit inside the campus and the language used has elicited sharp reactions.

“Boys and girls are strictly advised not to remain in an objectionable position with each other,” it states.

The teacher expressed anger at the directive. “The students do nothing objectionable in the campus. The only problem is with this discipline committee. They never bother about the academics but raise objections when boys and girls sit or have tea together inside the campus,” he said.

“Students are feeling frustrated. There is constant frisking and moral policing and it amounts to abuse,” he said.

A girl student of first semester said teachers were “unnecessarily harassing us”. “They have been checking into our bags for android phones. We can’t even wear shoes of our choice. Female teachers use rude language and even go on to talk about character. This is not central jail, this is a college. We should have some freedom,” she said requesting not to be named.

Principal Beig said they had “just reminded the students of the college brochure where it is stated what code they should follow and what uniform they should wear”.

“I have assured them that there will be no harassment, no suppression, no restraint, they are free but for discipline some restraints are important,” he said after meeting a group of students on Thursday after they had communicated their displeasure.

First Published: Aug 02, 2018 20:18 IST